Our team of experts have chosen those ISAs they believe to be Best Buys. A selection of those, for which we have arranged links are shown above, whilst products shown with a yellow background are sponsored products.
Eligible deposits with UK institutions are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The maximum level of protection will be reducing from £85,000 to £75,000 from 1 January 2016.
Interest you earn from a traditional savings account is subject to income tax. Depending on your income tax banding, up to 45% of any interest you earn goes straight to the taxman!
But, cash ISAs are different…
ISA is short for Individual Savings Account. You may have heard of a NISA too, which simply stands for “new ISA”, reflecting the changes brought in as part of the 2014 Budget.
The general principle is this: unlike normal savings accounts or investments, interest earned from a cash ISA is completely tax-free.
The higher the rate of tax you pay, the more beneficial a cash ISA will be compared with a normal savings account. This table shows the rates you’d need to match a cash ISA with a non-ISA savings account:
Additional Rate Taxpayer (45%)
Cash ISAs can only have a maximum amount paid into them in each tax year, which runs between 6 April and the following 5 April.
In the 2015-16 tax year the ISA allowance is £15,240. You must pay your money in before 5 April 2016 to make the most of your 2015-16 ISA limit, and if you don’t use it, you lose it! Tax advantages will depend on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.
If you also have an investment (or stocks & shares) ISA, you may not be able to put this much into your cash ISA. Read our ISA guide to find out more, including the limits for investment ISAs and how you can split your money between investments and cash.
You can transfer your existing cash ISA without losing the tax-free privileges. The two main reasons you’d do this are to:
Under current rules, this entire process should take no longer than 15 working days.
Don’t bypass this process by withdrawing your cash from your old ISA and putting it into a new one. If you withdraw cash from an ISA it loses its tax-free treatment. Plus, depending on the size of your savings pot, you may not be able to put all of your money into the new cash ISA as it will exceed your annual ISA allowance.
Our ISA Best Buys include those which allow you to transfer to a new ISA provider; just refer to the column "transfer in".
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